In the News
NPs and physician assistants (PAs) deliver care equivalent to that of medical house staff in adult ICUs. A study in the June issue of Chest comparing two 12-bed medical ICUs (MICUs) at an academic medical center, one staffed with nonphysician providers and one staffed with physicians, found no differences in the lengths of either ICU or hospital stays or in mortality (the primary outcome) in either group of patients. The nonphysician MICU was staffed with NPs and PAs, with intensivist coverage on the unit overnight; the other was staffed with first- and second-year medical residents and off-site fellow and intensivist coverage at night. The authors concluded that teams comprising NPs and PAs, "when accompanied by appropriate physician leadership," can provide critical care "equivalent to that delivered by teams built around house staff in a high-intensity, tertiary care setting with very ill patients."